Tip Sheet: Development of a vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus, a newly-named Pew Scholar and how your blood donation could help a cancer patient

SEATTLE — July 6, 2022 — Below are summaries of recent Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center research findings and other news.

If you’re covering science education, Fred Hutch’s summer programs for high school students, undergrads and teachers are underway. Led by award-winning educator Dr. Jeanne Chowning, these programs – which began 30 years ago – are dedicated to broadening access to scientific careers and teaching the next generation of scientists, particularly for those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences. Contact media@fredhutch.org for more information. Programs include:

  • Science Education Partnership: High school and middle school science teachers grow their knowledge about subjects ranging from genetics to molecular biology.
  • Pathways Explorer Program: Rising 10th and 11th grade students spend two-weeks participating in hands-on activities and learning about next steps for a career in biomedical research.
  • Coding for Cancer: Students in 11th and 12th grade learn how cancer researchers use computational tools in their search to find cures.
  • Summer High School Internship Program: This eight-week, full-time paid internship for rising 12th graders pairs students with a research group.

Public health

Q&A: How your blood could help a cancer patient
Dr. Sandhya Panch, hematologist and medical director of transfusion at Fred Hutch, answered questions about how blood supply shortages affect people with cancer, the different types of blood donations and how everyone can help.
Media contact: Heather Platisha, hplatisha@seattlecca.org

Infectious disease

Researchers advance development of potential Epstein-Barr virus vaccines
Epstein-Barr virus is now suspected of triggering the degenerative nerve disease multiple sclerosis. Recent findings concerning the extent of damage by this common virus lend urgency to efforts to develop a first vaccine. In the journal Cell Reports Medicine, Hutch molecular biologist Dr. Andrew McGuire and his team are experimenting with a vaccine made of nanoparticles.
Media contact: Claire Hudson, crhudson@fredhutch.org

Health equity

Cancer survivorship and health disparities in Latinx communities
For their podcast “Health Equity Now,” members of Fred Hutch’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement sat down with Martha Zuniga, Deputy Director for Entre Hermanos as she shared her own experience with cancer and her efforts to reduce disparities in the community, especially for those who are underrepresented. She addresses the inequities that continue to negatively affect Latinx communities when it comes to accessing health care and preventative health services.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

New grants help community organizations overcome health disparities across Washington
A new round of grant funding is accelerating the progress of 11 projects aimed at cancer prevention, screening and more among marginalized groups across Washington. The funding comes from the Community Grant Program, operated by the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, led by Dr. Jason Mendoza. The program aims to help affected communities overcome significant health inequities by helping organizations implement projects that address a need the community has identified and by maintaining collaboration between partners.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Navigating cancer and barriers, one person at a time
For many patients navigating a cancer diagnosis and treatment, the logistics and complications of the system can make the stress of cancer even more difficult. Fred Hutch’s patient navigation program has become an integral part of supportive care services as well as our approach to health equity. In a profile story, patient navigators explain how they guide patients through the cancer care process and help secure resources like transportation, counseling, interpretation services and financial assistance.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Awards and other notable news

New artwork from Mark Modimola opens a channel for communication, healing
Fred Hutch and artist Mark Modimola have unveiled the first piece as part of the Public Art and Community Dialogue Program. Artists selected for the program through open calls will engage in dialogue with each other and Hutch employees and create commissioned work informed by community conversations. These art installations are meant to engage other underrepresented communities and create broader and connected messages of solidarity.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Dr. Melody Campbell named Pew Scholar
Dr. Melody Campbell, a structural biologist at Fred Hutch, was named a 2022 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew awards these prestigious grants to early-career investigators of outstanding promise who are exploring some of the most pressing questions in health and medicine. Campbell studies how cells communicate and interact with their surroundings, focusing on proteins that infection-fighting immune cells use to move through the body, find pathogens and fight them.
Media contact: Molly McElroy, mwmcelro@fredhutch.org

Fred Hutch announces recipients of the 4th annual Dr. Eddie Méndez Award
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center has announced 10 recipients of the 2022 Dr. Eddie Méndez award, honoring a physician-scientist at Fred Hutch who passed away from cancer in 2018. The recipients are postdoctoral researchers from across the U.S. with research topics including the study of emerging new coronaviruses, the identification of regulators of early-stage lung cancer and the impact of social and environmental factors on tumor development.
Media contact: Kat Wynn, kwynn@fredhutch.org

Science spotlight
Science Spotlight is a monthly installment of articles written by postdoctoral fellows at Fred Hutch that summarize new research papers from Hutch scientists. If you’re interested in learning more or covering these topics, contact: media@fredhutch.org


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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center is an independent, nonprofit, unified adult cancer care and research center that is clinically integrated with UW Medicine, a world leader in clinical care, research and learning. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center was created in April 2022 by the merger of longtime partners, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Together, our fully integrated research and clinical care teams seek to discover new cures for the world’s deadliest diseases and make life beyond cancer a reality.

The first National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the Pacific Northwest, Fred Hutch is a global leader in bone marrow transplantation, HIV/AIDS, immunotherapy and COVID-19, confirming our reputation as one of the world’s leading cancer, infectious disease and biomedical research centers. Based in Seattle, Fred Hutch operates eight clinical care sites that provide medical oncology, infusion, radiation, proton therapy and related services, and has network affiliations with hospitals in five states.